|Our new Keekaroo high chair, scheduled to arrive on Friday!|
I kinda wanted to put this off. In fact, I had considered breastfeeding exclusively for her first year. I love breastfeeding my baby, and figured that as long as it was meeting her nutritional needs that there was no rush to introduce anything else. Except now I'm thinking that it might not be meeting her nutritional needs. She's waking up hungry a lot. I mean, at this point we're lucky if we get a three-hour stretch overnight. This isn't a sleep-training issue -- it is very clear that she is hangry. Very, very hangry. Not-so-coincidentally, my milk supply also seems to be dropping off. Plus, she is now intrigued by/reaching out for our food.
I can take a hint. At six months + one week old, my 15.5-pound baby is ready for some veggies and meat.
How exactly are we going to do this? Well, I'm not 100% sure. I totally get the philosophy behind baby-led weaning and I believe it is doable, logical and effective but I'm also not convinced it is the right choice for us. At the same time, I really don't want to feed her a mush-only diet for the next however-many months. It is all so overwhelming to me, and I think the best approach is to just kind of wing it and see where this feeding adventure takes us. So, for now, we'll start with homemade baby food (I think this is the safest and easiest route). We also have our Munchkin Fresh Food Feeders, which will be great for avocados and other fresh fruits. Once we get comfortable with the whole feeding process, we'll probably move on to regular (i.e. not puréed) foods. I'll continue to breastfeed, too, until she reaches her first birthday (approximately). In terms of her feeding schedule, I'll probably start by giving her a small amount of one single food early in the day (after nursing). We'll add more foods and feedings when we feel the time is right. And while I don't know that you really need recipes to make baby food, I'll definitely be consulting a book called Blender Baby Foods by Nicole Young for inspiration. Many of the recipes in Blender Baby Foods sound super delicious, actually. Like orange pumpkin purée and squashed apples. Mmmm. The book does encourage the consumption of grains and legumes, but it is easy enough to skip those recipes in favor of the paleo-friendly selections.
As far as fortified rice cereal, which seems to be one of the more common first foods for babies, it will not be a part of our baby's diet. Our pediatrician recommended it because babies apparently need the extra iron, but I'm not a fan of the idea. I think we can meet all of her nutritional with natural, unprocessed foods.
When did you introduce food to your baby? Did you make your own baby food? What do you think of baby-led weaning?